Demystifying NFT Token Standards: A Comprehensive Guide


NFT token standards explained In the realm of blockchain and digital art, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have taken center stage as a revolutionary concept. These unique digital assets have gained immense popularity in recent years, but they come in various shapes and sizes due to different NFT token standards. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore NFT token standards, explain their significance, and provide insights into some of the most prominent ones.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Understanding NFTs and Their Importance
  • NFT Token Standards Explained
  • ERC-721 Standard: Pioneering NFTs
  • ERC-1155 Standard: Versatility and Efficiency
  • Other NFT Token Standards
  • The Role of NFT Standards in the Ecosystem
  • Common FAQs About NFT Token Standards
  • Conclusion


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have ushered in a new era of digital ownership, allowing individuals to own unique digital assets and proving the authenticity and ownership of digital creations. NFTs have numerous use cases, from digital art and collectibles to virtual real estate and in-game assets. However, this diversity has given rise to various NFT token standards to cater to different needs and functionalities within the blockchain ecosystem.

In this guide, we’ll delve into NFT token standards, the most prevalent of which is the ERC-721 standard, as well as the versatile ERC-1155 standard. We’ll explore how these standards work, their significance, and their impact on the NFT ecosystem.

Understanding NFTs and Their Importance

Before diving into NFT token standards, let’s briefly understand what NFTs are and why they are significant:

  • NFTs are Unique Digital Assets: Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, which are fungible and interchangeable, NFTs are unique and indivisible digital assets. Each NFT has distinct properties and cannot be replaced with another.
  • Proving Ownership and Authenticity: NFTs are stored on blockchain networks, providing immutable proof of ownership and authenticity. This makes them valuable for verifying the ownership of digital or physical assets.
  • Diverse Use Cases: NFTs have a wide range of applications, including digital art, music, collectibles, virtual real estate, in-game items, and even ownership of physical assets represented digitally.
  • Interoperability: NFTs can be bought, sold, and traded across various platforms and marketplaces, increasing their liquidity and accessibility.

NFT Token Standards Explained

NFT token standards are sets of rules and specifications that define how NFTs are created, managed, and transferred on blockchain networks. These standards ensure compatibility, interoperability, and uniformity among NFTs, allowing them to be seamlessly used across different platforms and marketplaces.

Two of the most notable NFT token standards are ERC-721 and ERC-1155, both of which were introduced on the Ethereum blockchain.

ERC-721 Standard: Pioneering NFTs

The ERC-721 standard, introduced by William Entriken, Dieter Shirley, Jacob Evans, and Nastassia Sachs in 2018, played a pioneering role in the world of NFTs. Here are some key features of the ERC-721 standard:

  • Unique Tokens: Each token created under ERC-721 is unique and cannot be exchanged on a one-to-one basis with other tokens. This makes it ideal for representing one-of-a-kind digital assets.
  • Ownership and Transfer: ERC-721 tokens can be easily transferred from one user to another, ensuring that ownership of the digital asset is transparent and immutable.
  • Widely Adopted: Many popular NFT projects, including CryptoKitties and Decentraland, have used the ERC-721 standard, contributing to its widespread adoption.

ERC-1155 Standard: Versatility and Efficiency

The ERC-1155 standard, proposed by Enjin in 2018, introduced a more versatile approach to NFTs. It enables the creation of both fungible and non-fungible tokens within a single contract. Here’s why ERC-1155 is significant:

  • Versatility: ERC-1155 allows the creation of both NFTs and Fungible Tokens (FTs) in a single contract. This versatility is particularly useful for gaming and virtual asset ecosystems.
  • Efficiency: It is more gas-efficient than deploying multiple separate contracts for different types of assets, reducing transaction costs on the Ethereum network.
  • Batch Transfers: ERC-1155 enables the batch transfer of multiple tokens, streamlining operations for users and developers.

Other NFT Token Standards

While ERC-721 and ERC-1155 are the most prominent NFT token standards, there are other standards that cater to specific use cases and blockchains. Some examples include:

  • TRC-721: Used on the TRON blockchain, similar to Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard.
  • NEP-10: Used on the NEO blockchain for non-fungible tokens.
  • BEP-721 and BEP-1155: Binance Smart Chain’s equivalents to Ethereum’s ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards.
  • Flow: A blockchain developed by Dapper Labs for applications like NBA Top Shot, introducing its own NFT standard.

The Role of NFT Standards in the Ecosystem

NFT token standards play a crucial role in the NFT ecosystem for several reasons:

  • Interoperability: Standards ensure that NFTs created on one platform can be traded or used on another. This interoperability is vital for the growth of NFT markets.
  • Security and Transparency: Standards provide a clear set of rules that make NFTs secure and transparent. Users can trust the authenticity and ownership of NFTs.
  • Developer Adoption: Standards simplify the development process for NFT projects, as developers can adhere to established rules and best practices.
  • Efficiency: Standards like ERC-1155 are designed to be efficient, reducing gas costs on blockchain networks and making NEFT transactions more affordable.

Common FAQs About NFT Token Standards

Let’s address some common questions about NFT token standards:

Can NFTs from different standards be used together?

In most cases, NFTs from different standards are not directly interchangeable. However, platforms and marketplaces may offer conversion services to enable the use of NFTs across standards.

Which NFT standard is better, ERC-721 or ERC-1155?

The choice between ERC-721 and ERC-1155 depends on the specific use case. ERC-721 is ideal for unique assets, while ERC-1155 is more versatile and efficient, making it suitable for gaming and multi-token contracts.

Are NFT standards limited to Ethereum?

While ERC-721 and ERC-1155 originated on the Ethereum blockchain, other blockchains have introduced their own NFT standards, such as TRC-721 on TRON and BEP-721 on Binance Smart Chain.

Can I create my own NFT standard?

Creating your own NFT standard is possible, but it may not be widely adopted unless it offers unique advantages over existing standards. Standards gain popularity through community adoption.


NFT token standards are the foundation of the vibrant and diverse NFT ecosystem. They ensure that NFTs are secure, transparent, and interoperable across platforms, paving the way for the continued growth of the NFT market. Whether you’re an artist, a collector, or a developer, understanding NFT standards is essential for navigating the world of digital ownership and innovation.

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